Annual Career Night – November 9, 2017


PABA looks forward to seeing you all at our Annual Career Night on November 9, Thursday, at O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s Los Angeles Office and sponsored by Roxas Law, APC.

Our speakers include:

Tristan Bufete is a litigation associate in the Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.  Tristan’s practice includes general commercial litigation matters, as well as class action and insurance coverage litigation.  He earned his B.A., summa cum laude, from California State University, Fresno in 2008 and his J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2014.  Prior to attending law school, Tristan worked as a paralegal at Public Counsel Law Center, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm.

Mercedes Cook is an associate in Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton’s Business Trial group.  She was born and raised in and around Los Angeles.  Mercedes earned her B.A. from University of Southern California and her J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

Christine J. Gonong is an associate at the Law Office of Minh T. Nguyen, ALC and an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law.  A PABA Lifetime Member, Christine served as PABA President during the 2015-2016 term.  She clerked for the Supreme Court of Hawaii, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and US District Court for the Central District of California and was an associate at Jones Day, the largest law firm in the United States and one of the ten largest law firms in the world.  Christine obtained her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law and her B.A. from UCLA, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Christopher Lapinig is Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA’s Skadden Fellow in the Impact Litigation Unit.  Born and raised in Queens, New York, Chris previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Denny Chin of the Second Circuit and to the Honorable Lorna G. Schofield of the Southern District of New York, the first federal Article III judge of Filipino descent in United States history.  He was also a Fulbright Research Scholar in the Philippines.  Chris graduated summa cum laude from Yale College and obtained his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Carlos Lazatin is a partner in the Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.  He defends clients in high-stakes class action and products liability litigation in a range of industries including food, apparel, automobile, and medical devices and pharmaceuticals.  Carlos was named a “Rising Star” in Consumer Protection Law by Law360 (2014), and has been recognized as a Southern California “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers (2013).  Carlos received his J.D., cum laude, in 2003 from Harvard Law School.  He earned his A.B., magna cum laude, from Princeton University in 1999.

Philip Nulud is an Attorney in Buchalter’s Los Angeles office and a member of the Intellectual Property and Corporate Practice Groups. His practice focuses on counseling clients in the apparel and textile, and technology industries in developing, protecting and licensing their valuable ideas. He has extensive experience in international enforcement and prosecution and has assisted many companies in obtaining their trademarks overseas. He  earned his J.D. at Loyola Law School and his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, with a minor in Political Science (concentrating in Law and Public Policy) from the University of Southern California.  Mr. Nulud also previously clerked for the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office: Consumer Protection Division.

Francisco (Kiko) Ochoa joined City of Hope, a nationally recognized cancer treatment and research hospital, in 2013.  As Deputy General Counsel, he advises management on all labor and employment matters involving a workforce of over 8,000 employees and six unions.  Prior to joining City of Hope, Kiko spent 11 years representing companies in employment and other litigation matters. In addition to his civilian work, Kiko is the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate for the 944th Fighter Wing, a reserve Air Force unit located at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona. Kiko served as PABA President for the 2008-2009 term.

Alex Sario is a felony trial attorney for the Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender’s Office.  His current practice includes serious felonies and homicides at the Pomona Courthouse.  He was also a public defender in Riverside County and an associate at a small firm before joining APD.  Alex received his B.A. from UCSD and his J.D. from Loyola Law School.

Abigail A. Zelenski, a graduate from the UCLA School of Law, is a Shareholder and Managing Counsel at the Jaurigue Law Group.  Abigail has focused extensively on class-action litigation, representing employees and consumers in numerous matters—over thirty-five of which were favorably settled on behalf of class members and received final approval by US District Courts and Superior Courts across California.  Abigail served over seven years on the Board of Directors of the Filipino American Library and the Filipino American Heritage Institute, and has recently served an eighteen-month term as an elected governing board member of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.  For the past five years, Abigail has been recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star, an honor given to no more than 2.5% of the lawyers in California.